Undivided

Teach me your way, LORD, 
that I may rely on your faithfulness; 
give me an undivided heart, 
that I may fear your name. (Psalm 86:11) 
 



So many things pulling at my heart,my time, my life– some good, some not, but countless things demand my attention, scream for my focus.

I am called, just as every believer is, to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength—all of it! Not pieces, not half, not most, not what’s left…but all!  Undivided, complete, whole–all for God!

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So how do we accomplish everything on our to-do list without becoming divided, distracted, and exhausted?  How do we honor God and bring him glory through dirty dishes, laundry, and “normal” day-to-day responsibilities?
We remember Who we are doing it for!
Actions and tasks are only as important as the One we do them for!  What we do becomes important because of Who we serve!  As followers of Christ, we have the glorious opportunity to do “all things for His glory”! (1 Cor. 10:31).
The mundane and ordinary become extraordinary when we follow God and live for Him!
When we seek Him first, He equips us with strength and perseverance.

God has been incredibly faithful to me and I am learning to rely in Him in every situation. I want my heart to be completely whole, without even a tiny piece divided, but I can’t do this on my own—only in His strength can I learn to love God completely.

~~*~~

 

Father, teach me to trust You and rely on You—You are faithful! I admit my heart is divided and distracted. Create in me a pure heart that is whole and teach me to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. In Jesus’ name, Amen!



photo credit: Retro Tree via photopin (license)  (edited)

Jesus Peace



Now available in paperback and Kindle!

Come experience the incredible, life-changing peace that only Jesus can give.  This 31-Day Devotional will transform you as you trust in Jesus and find His perfect peace.

In every situation and every season, we can find peace, strength, and rest in the comforting presence of Jesus.

Peace has nothing to do with our circumstances.  It has everything to do with Jesus!

 

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Resurrection Power

I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 1:19-20)


Easter week is a special time to focus on Christ.  It is an opportunity to reflect on His sacrifice, and remember His pain, suffering, and death.  But even more so, it is a wonderful time to rejoice over His resurrection and His victory over sin and death!  We celebrate Jesus and remember that because of His great sacrifice and resurrection, we are forgiven, we are washed clean, and we are declared righteous—not because of anything we have done or ever could do, but simply as a gift to reunite us with our Creator and make us holy—thank You Jesus!

The Spirit of God, which raised Jesus from the dead, is also alive in His followers.  The “incredible greatness of God’s power”, “the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead…”, this power is in us, available for all who believe Him.  I want to understand the incredible greatness of God’s power–this same power that raised Christ and is available to every believer.  I want to live with this power working in me and through me!  

Inside every believer, we have an endless supply of life changing, world changing, death defying power, and yet we so often live in defeat and despair because we allow the Spirit to become dormant and quiet inside us, drowned out by the noise of this world.  The Holy Spirit must be so frustrated with me and with so many other believers as we wallow in silly, changeable things rather than take up our sword of the Spirit, armed with truth and knowledge and faith and fight!  Fight for our mental health, our physical health, our friends and family who are lost and hurting, and a dying world!  It is so much easier and comfortable to live in my tiny world and never look up and out—but God is calling every believer to a world changing, life changing faith and strength in Him and I don’t want to miss it!

So I’m wondering, where is the power to change lives and change the world that we see in the New Testament?  Those believers were simple people, fishermen and women who were scared, normal people until the power of Jesus’ resurrection!  Filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, the same power that raised Christ from the dead, they changed the world!  And this power is still available to us today.  It hasn’t diminished or changed–our desire and our focus has!  Where is the hunger for God’s word and a desire to be changed by it?  Where is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit so great that thousands of lives are changed in a moment and then the revolution spreads throughout the world and changes it?   
The life changing, resurrecting, lift giving power is available but we have to live it and use it!  We can’t just play church and go about our lives in a comfortable fog, ignoring the pain and hopelessness around us—every single person who calls themselves “Christian” MUST begin to actually follow, mimic, look like, sound like, and imitate Christ and be changed from the inside out! 
The Holy Spirit is in us and the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in us!  He is here and waiting for us to jump in and be part of something amazing and world changing—it is time to stop bickering among ourselves inside beautiful stained glass sanctuaries and pristine fellowship halls that keep the hurting world out.  POWER is found in the Holy Spirit and the world needs Him—needs to see Him in us and needs to feel that love!
God is a God of abundance, but too often I wallow in mediocrity.  God is a God of love, yet too often I sink to irritation and annoyance.  God is a God of peace, yet too often I am in turmoil with worry and fear.  God is a God of forgiveness, yet too often I squirm in guilt and self condemnation.  NO MORE!  My God is bigger and stronger and more powerful than anything this world or the enemy can throw at me, and I refuse to live a moment longer accepting anything less than His unequaled, unending, limitless power reigning in me! 
So this Easter week, as I remember the sacrifice and celebrate the resurrection, my prayer for myself and every other believer is that we would be completely changed and so incredibly full of the Spirit that we simply can’t be stopped!  That we would unite as the Body of Christ, His beautiful bride, and show a hurting, dying world that there is hope, love, healing, forgiveness and an eternal joy that only comes through Christ Jesus! And He is coming back for His bride!

Lord Jesus, help me live with Your power in my life.  May Your love and peace be so evident and strong in me that others see it too.  Empower me and equip me to not only be changed, but to create change around me and may Your Word go forth and thousands upon thousands be transformed by You!  Fill me and transform me Holy Spirit and use me to Your glory!!
Happy Resurrection!

Why is Good Friday “Good”?

Jesus died on “Good” Friday.  He suffered in pain and anguish as He was beaten, tortured, and crucified.  His family and friends watched in horror as He died an excruciating death while others mocked and spit at Him.  So how can we possibly call it “good”?  It is the most horrific day in history when the Savior was brutally killed because of our sin!

If the story ended on Friday, there would be nothing “good” about it.  It would be the saddest, most depressing story of mankind.  BUT, thankfully, it doesn’t end on Friday.  Instead, it is the most joyous, incredible, amazing story of salvation, freedom, renewal, and life–because Sunday is coming!

When Jesus rose from the dead, He beat death.  He triumphed over everything dark and sinful, and declared victory over the enemy.  The battle isn’t over yet, but Jesus has already won and He offers to share His victory with us!

Remember, no matter how bad your circumstances are, there is always hope! Even on the saddest day in history, hope won the day.  Ask Jesus to come into your situation and bring hope, restore peace, and overwhelm you with love–His love.  Just as Easter morning changed the world, Jesus changes everything!  Trust Him!

Lord, thank You for loving me with an unconditional, complete love.  I am nothing without You and I surrender everything to You–my heart, my mind, my life, and every thought and action.  Change me from the inside out, transform me to be life You.  Thank You for saving me! In the name of Jesus, amen! 

photo credit: Shadow via photopin (license)

Filled with Awe

Awe…upon every single soul…and many wonders and signs! 
Awe is “an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful” (www.dictionary.com)….
Who is more powerful than God?  What is grander than His Kingdom?  But, among His followers, where is our awe?  Where is our overwhelming love for our Savior?  We need more reverence, admiration, and yes, even fear and respect for the Lord.  We need awe to come upon us in our everyday, ordinary lives!
The believers in the early church were completely devoted to Christ and to one another.  Above all else, no matter what, they put God first and they loved each other.  No one among them went without.  No one among them suffered alone in silence.  No one among them was excluded.  They lived, worked, ate, prayed, worshiped, rejoiced, and even suffered together with Christ as the Head, Center, and Foundation of everything.  Their devotion to God, and to each other, was the central part of their lives.
This is not the kind of devotion we see in most churches today…and as a result, we don’t experience much awe, and even fewer signs and wonders!  The Holy Spirit is just as ready to fill us with awe; waiting to use us for jaw-dropping, life-changing wonders that will completely transform individuals, communities, and the world.  But as modern-day believers living in relative comfort, we are too often consumed with ourselves.  We must begin to see God for Who He is–all powerful, all knowing, all loving–and remember, it is God (not us) who is in charge. 
The Creator of the entire universe desires a relationship with each of us, and wants to use us to share His love with a hurting, dying world.  Yet we are often so consumed with our own plans, our own lives, our own worries, we have no time or concern for anyone but ourselves.  No more!  

It is time to live as true disciples of Christ!  It is time for us to stop living selfish, weak, powerless, awe-less lives–and live in the victory, freedom and power of Christ! 

v It is time to stop talking about reading our Bibles and actually read them!  With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we need to learn to apply God’s Word to every thought, every action, and every decision, every day!

v It is time to stop saying we will pray for someone then never do it.  We need to pray with each other and for each other, every day!

v It is time to stop saying we are Christians and then live a life that looks nothing like Christ!

v It is time to love, help, and disciple each other, speaking the truth in love, encouraging others in the faith.

v It is time to be filled with awe and let God do some amazing wonders and signs in us, through us, and all around us!  

Lord, we need Your awe to come upon us.  Fill us to overflowing with holy devotion for You, and sincere love for Your people.  Help us look past our personal problems to focus on You and the needs of others.  Please do incredible signs and wonders in us, through us, and all around us.  In the name of Jesus, amen!

Jesus Peace


Peace… what a beautiful word!  It brings to mind moments of calm and tranquility, serenity and beauty—and of course, peace and quiet!  It is truly a beautiful word and even more beautiful feeling—yet one that can be elusive at times. 
In Christ, we can have true peace, lasting peace, even in the middle of a fierce battle or storm raging around us, when our most natural reaction would be fear and chaos—we can be filled with indescribable peace deeper and greater than anything we can understand–Jesus Peace!
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”  (John 14:27).  He has given me His peace!
What does it mean to have the peace of Jesus? 
·        It means that when the storm is raging, I can still be calm.
·        When my world seems to be caving in, I can be strong.
·        When nothing around me makes sense, I can rest in my knowledge of Him who is my rock and higher then me.
·        No matter what—I can have peace!
The world does not give selflessly or freely.  Nothing in this world is truly free without a hidden cost or expected return or favor.  Jesus, though does not give as the world gives!  He has given us peace that cannot be earned or bought and its not meant to be borrowed—it is meant to fill us and sustain us and carry us through every storm. 
We can ignore His peace though.  In the same verse, He warns us not to lose our peace.  He says, “do not let your heart be troubled nor let it be fearful”—I have some control over how much peace I feel–the peace is there but I can miss it if I let myself be troubled!  

How do I keep from being troubled or fearful?  My focus must be on the peace-giver!  Just as He grabbed Peter and kept him from sinking, His hand is outreached to me (and you) and He offers peace—real, lasting, powerful peace!
Grab His hand today and let Him hold you and guide you through whatever this day brings and never let go!  Enjoy the peace He gives and He will carry you through the roughest, scariest waters!

Father, thank You for the peace You have given us through Your Son, Jesus!  Fill me today with Your perfect peace and help me stand strong against the waves, the wind and whatever would try to steal it.  Keep my focus on You as You lead and guide me today in the name of Jesus, amen! 

God’s Farmer


On first glance, this verse would be easy to dismiss as irrelevant…but God is showing me how critical and relevant it is– right now, today!  This verse jumped off the page for me today and really got me thinking about what it means to work the land.  Farmers must break up the hard soil, plant quality seeds, water and nourish the growing seed and baby plant, and then weed diligently to keep the plant healthy and protect it from the weeds that would steal its nutrients and destroy it.

Even though I’m not a farmer and I have no physical land to work, this verse is convicting and challenging because I do have my “land” and I have responsibilities to tend to those things God has put in my care…and the people! 

I want to have a teachable spirit and make a difference for God’s Kingdom!  So I must work and make sure the “land” of my heart (my thoughts, my attitudes, my words and actions, etc) is not getting hard and crusty.  I want my heart and my life to be soft and ready for whatever God has for me!

I want to be filled with truth and knowledge and reflect the glory of God!  So I must work to fill my life with only good quality seed-the Word and truth of God!  I must choose wisely the seed that is planted inside my heart and make sure it is holy and true.

I want to overflow with the love and power of the Holy Spirit!  So I must work to constantly surrender my wishes and desires and give Him complete Sovereignty in my life.  I must allow the Holy Spirit to fill me and renew me from the inside as I spend time in prayer and the Word.  Only God can change me–He will do the heavy lifting, but I must surrender my load!

I want to grow strong and healthy in the Lord and I want to make a difference in His Kingdom!  I want to fulfill His call on my life, I want to finish well and someday hear “well done”!  So I must work to continually pull the “weeds” from my life–those things that would distract me and lead me toward worthless pursuits.  Even “good” things become worthless if they lead me away from my God!  

So, today I realize I am a farmer in God’s Kingdom and my land is me.  I can’t sit back and rest or I will wither and brown and the weeds will overtake me.  I must work in order to see the glorious fruit that is to come!  I also realize that as a mom, a wife, a friend–every title in my life–I am a farmer to those I love and those I am called to love, which is everyone I meet!   Jesus told me (and you) to love others as He loves–so I must work!

  
Lord, God, help me focus on the things that matter today and not be distracted by worthless pursuits. Strengthen me to work diligently at the tasks You lay before me and may You be glorified by everything I do and say today. And tonight, when this day is over, may I have made a difference for Your Kingdom! In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!


Linked to Thought Provoking Thursday

True Freedom

freedom in Christ, 1 Peter

Happy 4th of July!  As we celebrate Independence Day and our freedoms as Americans, let’s remember that our true freedom is in Christ!  Every believer is co-heir with Christ and we have the power of the Holy Spirit in us- we are blessed, forgiven, washed clean and we are free!  Free from all condemnation!  Free from all guilt and shame–every sin is washed away in the blood of Christ and we are declared righteous and holy!

Enjoy today as a redeemed child of God and give Him glory!
Today, July 4th, my book, 31 Days of Letting Go is FREE today on Amazon.com.  Download your free copy today and begin praying and enjoying freedom in Christ!

Free Kindle Download of 31 Days of Letting Go

As we celebrate July 4th and our freedom in America, learn to let go and rejoice in the personal freedom you have in Christ!

Download your free copy today 
and begin a journey to complete freedom in Christ!

A powerful and transformational prayer journey to freedom from sin, struggles, strongholds, and anything else that is holding you captive and keeping you from fulfilling your calling in life.

We have a very real enemy, and he is prowling around like a lion to see who he can devour first.  Beloved, we must stand strong on the Word of God, armed with His truth, so we not only defeat the enemy, we can rise higher and higher to the life God intends for us–a life of victory and freedom!

What lies are you holding onto?  What deceptive thinking has replaced the truth of God in your life?  What is it that you need freedom from?


Find complete freedom at the feet of Jesus!  It’s time to let go!



Taking Refuge

Life can be scary and painful.  We face horrible dangers and devastating losses every day, but as believers we never face them alone–

God is a shield for all who take refuge in Him! 

A shield from the darts of the enemy and his attacks. A shield which will protect me and keep me safe from every attempt to harm me. A shield which guards my heart, my mind and my soul.  

But, I have to choose to take refuge in Him! I can’t try and shield myself and I can’t try and do everything on my own. I must put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).  I must choose to take refuge and remain in Him!  

I also must remember that this doesn’t mean that I will never face physical challenges or hardships.  I can’t blame God or doubt His protection when the evil of this world and the consequences of sin somehow pierce my life.  

My soul finds rest in God alone and I will have eternal peace and everlasting joy one day.  But right now, in this life with trials and tribulation, my heart and my mind are guarded in Christ Jesus and I have the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, (Philippians 4:7).

And I can have this peace even in the pain and through the struggles of this life.  God is still my refuge and my shield.  The things of this world are blocked from my soul and the evil thoughts and desires do not have to take root- His shield covers me when I choose to take refuge in the LORD!    

Heavenly Father, Your way is perfect and Your Word is flawless. You are my shield of protection and my refuge.  Thank You for arming me with strength and making my way perfect even when I can’t see or understand in the moment.  Strengthen me, Lord to take refuge in You.  You are my God, my Rock, my Provider, and my Protector–thank You!  I praise You for Who You are, for what You have done, and for all You do in my life.  In the precious name of Jesus, Amen! 
As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the LORD is flawless.  He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.  For who is God besides the LORD?  And who is the Rock except our God?  It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.  (Psalm 18:30-32)







How has God been your shield?  Can I pray for you somehow? Please leave me a comment below!

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